The days are getting shorter and the temperatures a bit lower. Your kids run into the house to get warm after swimming a bit faster. It’s time to think about preparing your pool for cold temperatures. How important is it–really? Very!
In this article, we’ve broken down the difference between closing and winterizing and some important steps when it comes to getting your pool ready for winter.
Closing a Pool vs Winterizing It
These two terms are often used interchangeably. But, there is a difference between these two things, especially in extremely cold climates:
Closing a Pool:
This refers to a temporary, short period of time when the pool won’t be used. Going on vacation? Close the pool so it will be ready for a clean, fast reopening when you return and safe while you’re gone. You’re likely not concerned about freezing temperatures during the time you are away. In fact, many pool owners in the southern parts of the U.S. close their pools during the short winters they experience, with no need to winterize at all.
Winterizing a Pool:
There is a lot more to winterizing a pool, though. In parts of the country that experience freezing weather for months during the winter, your swimming pool needs to be prepared to withstand those extremes. The pool will not be used during that time, so the equipment is turned off, water is removed from the lines and other equipment, and all accessories are removed.
Water is destructive when the weather sends a freeze your way. Water expands about 10% in volume when it freezes. So, if any water is left behind in a pipe or a pump housing it can fracture plastic, metal, or other parts. A liner vac or air blower is used by pool professionals to remove any water remaining as you prepare your pool to be dormant during possible freezing weather.
Draining and Balancing the Pool
Every time you think about draining all the water out of your pool, you probably cringe at the thought, right? It is a hassle, but we have good news! It isn’t necessary to drain all of the water, but you do need to drain some of it.
A totally water-free pool can develop other problems. After all, it’s meant to have water in it, so it’s usually fine to drain just enough out to keep the skimmer from freezing due to any residual water left behind in the lines. If you don’t drain at least that much, the lines can crack and leak. Once you’ve drained enough water out, then simply leave the rest of the water in the pool.
It’s also easier to skim leaves and debris from the surface of water (or a cover) than it is to get all that material from the bottom of a dry pool in the spring.
You don’t have to worry, either, about the water being unhealthy for swimmers in the spring. That’s because you will add the correct pH-balancing chemicals before you finish this winterizing project. This protects against corrosion and ensures that the water quality remains good while the pool is not being used.
Winterizing chemicals like pool shock are also necessary to defend against the growth of algae and bacteria during the off-season. The good thing is, once you get the proper instruction, you can handle the chemical part yourself and you don’t have to hire a pool service company to properly winterize your swimming pool.
Covering the Pool
Yes, you should cover your pool during the winter! One primary reason for this is safety. Children, pets, and other critters can get themselves into spaces we can’t imagine, so don’t take a chance on this nightmare happening to you.
Protecting the investment you have in your pool is the second reason to cover it. The cover keeps debris from becoming an issue in the pool. It also protects the shell of the pool in cold weather so it doesn’t crack. Remember, a pool cover costs less than fixing that crack next spring.
There are two primary types of covers:
Mesh Safety Cover
Debris will blow off this top, but more importantly, rain or snow drains into the pool instead of collecting on the top. If a toddler or pet falls onto the cover, there is no water pooled on the cover that could become a danger.
Solid Safety Cover
Some pool owners like these simply because they come in many colors and often look better compared to mesh covers. But, they do tend to collect water from precipitation. Though there are now solid covers that have drain panels available, making them safer.
Don’t neglect this final step! The accessories and equipment necessary for a swimming pool are expensive, too.
If you have an above-ground pool, remove the ladders, bumpers, and railings. No matter what type of pool you have (above ground or in-ground), you should also remove items from around the pool so that they don’t get blown onto the cover or into the pool. Also, check any fencing around the pool that may need to be repaired and make sure the gate is securely latched or locked.
You CAN Winterize Your Pool Yourself!
As you can see, prepping your pool for the colder months is very important. By doing the things above, you’ll be able to keep your pool protected and ready to go for springtime.
The good news is, Pool School Videos is there for you to help you understand how to winterize your pool properly, no matter if you have a chlorine pool or saltwater pool. Our videos were created to help pool owners maintain their pool while saving money doing it and preventing future problems. And if you find yourself with frozen pool equipment, we have a specific video that shows you exactly how to save your equipment AFTER it has frozen, saving you $1000’s.
After you purchase the videos, you can view them as many times as necessary and learn exactly how to properly take care of pool maintenance tasks and save money doing it. Our videos provide clear, expert advice unlike any offered elsewhere.
With your videos, you’ll also get access to our private Facebook group where you can get customized guidance. You can post specific questions in the group and receive a response from us within 24 hours!
Pool School Videos was created by Mike Steele, a seasoned pool professional with over 30 years of experience in swimming pool maintenance. Mike designs his videos to give expert advice in clear, easy-to-understand language. You will learn how to solve any problems that arise with pool maintenance as well as how to undertake tasks like winterizing your pool. Our videos will save you both time and money while teaching you how to take care of your pool correctly and safely. You will have more time to enjoy your pool instead of spending hours maintaining it.